Art of Woman

LensCulture Visual Storytelling Awards

Endometriosis causes pelvic bleeding_6714 web

Endometriosis affects women worldwide. ‘Life with Endometriosis’ is demonstrating this by entering LensCulture international photography competition ‘Visual Storytelling Awards 2015’.
Click on above photo to go to LensCulture site and read more about the photos.
Now an international audience will view some of the varied experiences and impacts of endometriosis on women. These photos are my photographic responses to what women with endometriosis have told me. Their stories of chronic pain, missed opportunities, misunderstanding and neglect are heartbreaking. These photos are conceptual and expressive of emotion.
Endometriosis devastates on in ten women worldwide. Endometriosis urgently needs more funding for research for cures and better treatments.
‘Life with Endometriosis’ raises awareness by making endometriosis visible.
Please help raise awareness and link and forward to your friends and anyone interested in women’s health or photography.

One Year of ‘Life with Endometriosis’

A4 flyer banner

It's over a year since the launch of ‘Life with Endometriosis’. A good time to think about what has been achieved. I have hear the stories and feelings from 20 women with endometriosis. Twenty lives disrupted. Twenty careers impacted. Twenty families struggling with consequences of living with chronic illness. Every story makes me more determined to raise awareness of endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects women worldwide, so I’m showing my photos at talks and entering exhibitions worldwide.

Photos from ‘Life with Endometriosis’ have been show:


Repeating themes I have photographed include:
  • illness disrupting commitments,
  • attitudes of managers and colleagues to time taken off work,
  • the hidden nature of this disease,
  • difficulty and painful moving the body,
  • internal organs stuck together,
  • major surgery such as bowel resection,
  • depression and self harm,
  • fighting the disease,
  • painful sex,
  • help from friends,
  • the need for carers,
  • infertility,
  • miscarriage,
  • IVF,
  • motherhood,
  • resilience and positive attitude.

‘Life with Endometriosis’ is raising awareness by making endometriosis visible


Life with Endometriosis is a simple 3 stage project:
1.
Tell me your story. It is totally up to you what parts of your life you tell me about - by email or phone.
2.
Make photos. I think about how to translate into photos and email or phone to discuss suggestions. We plan photo sessions and have fun taking photos. You may like to make art too.
3.
Display photos. I prepare the photos for display. They can be used in talks about endometriosis, in art exhibitions and in an art photo book.

I’ll continue to listening to women’s stories and experiences with endometriosis until May 2016.
Like and Follow on Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis
Contact me if you would like your story to help raise awareness:
lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au.

Life with Endometriosis



Endometriosis? What is THAT!!

Watch a YouTube video invitation to joint me and become part of “Life with Endometriosis”:
'Life with Endometriosis' invitation by Margaret Kalms (YouTube)

Life with Endometriosis - invitation YouTube by Margaret Kalms

Endometriosis is a debilitating and painful women’s reproductive disease. It is surprisingly common. It affects 10 - 15% of menstruating women. This rate is similar to women with breast cancer. While many people have heard about breast cancer, few have heard about endometriosis, even fewer understand the impact of endometriosis on women's lives.

There is still prejudice in talking about pelvic pain. Many people believe that menstrual pain is somehow normal! This results in delays in diagnosis that can extend pain and suffering unnecessarily. I decided to use my art, my photographic skills to challenge these ideas and prejudices, and to raise awareness of this insidious disease.

I’m dedicating an exhibition and an accompanying art book to this cause. "Life with Endometriosis", I call it. I imagine a gallery filled with art - several photos about each story from a dozen or so women and possibly including art created by some of the women. The accompanying book will be a lasting record of “Life with Endometriosis”.

Since August 2014, I have been meeting with women who live with endometriosis and have made recordings of their experiences. Progress with photography has been slower than I hoped because of delays and postponements due to ill health - which is all part of the endometriosis story. I am committed to this project. This will be a journey over many months, maybe years, as we visually explore the impacts of endometriosis on women’s lives.

I’m excited about the visual and photographic challenges this project will bring. It is a privilege to learn about other women’s lives and tell their stories.

Contact me: lifewithendo@artofwoman.com.au

Follow and Like - Facebook.com/lifewithendometriosis

Endometriosis Study

Do You Have Endometriosis?

A researcher I know, Maryam Moradi is doing a PhD studying how endometriosis affects women. She is inviting women with endometriosis to complete this newly developed questionnaire to measure the long term impact of this condition. The questions in the Endometriosis Impact Questionnaire (EIQ) have been developed based on 10 focus group discussions with 35 women with endometriosis. This study is being conducted by researchers through the Australian National University (ANU) and Canberra Endometriosis Centre.

Please invite anyone you know who has endometriosis to participate. You may place the attached Information sheet on your websites, Facebook and anywhere else you think is appropriate. Data collection for the project will close on 28 March 2014.

I encourage women with endometriosis to support this study, https://apollo.anu.edu.au/default.asp?pid=7700. Contact Maryam Moradi 0403 679 650 or email her at: maryam.moradi.fu@gmail.com

See information page and flyer,
Endometriosis Study Moradi ANU

IGAD - International Gynaecological Awareness Day

I’m so excited to announce the inaugural celebration of IGAD (International Gynaecological Awareness Day) in Canberra!! This is a day to build awareness of women’s intimate health.

There is still embarrassment and reluctance by many people to frankly discuss diseases and problems with our sexual organs, even with health professionals. Some women find that problems with their vulva or periods are not investigated thoroughly because they are not visible. Some women suffer for years in silence as a result.

SHFPACT (Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT) are hosting an event celebrating women’s intimate health. Tim Bavinton, the executive director was so impressed with my art, he suggested that I exhibit my work in the SHFACT Training Room as part of the IGAD celebrations. This is a great honour.

IGAD will be opened by Professor Frank Bowden at 7:30pm, 10th September and the exhibition will run from 12-23rd September. Prof Bowden is the professor of medicine at ANU and has recently published a book, Gone Viral -The Germs That Share Our Lives.

My art photos will be for sale as signed limited edition (25) prints, on archival rag paper. When I exhibited at PhotoAccess last year, I donated to endometriosis research and this year when I exhibited in Sydney in March, I donated to UN women Australia. During this exhibition at SHFPACT, I will donate 5% of sales to SHFPACT and 5% to endometriosis research.

International Gynaecological Awareness Day, a day to realise how intricately and wonderfully God made women - and God made all parts of women good.

Download the invitation.

"Period Piece" a success

My recent solo exhibition, “Period Piece” was a success. Many people came to the Huw Davies Gallery to see it. The photos generated some animated discussions about women’s bodies and about menstrual health. Many women were deeply touched to see images that articulate how they feel on the inside. There were even some men who had discussions with me and developed some understanding of the deep impact menstruation can have on a woman’s life. It was very encouraging to realise that my art photos had communicated sensitive issues so effectively.

During my research for this exhibition, I was alarmed and shocked by the extent of suffering that women with Endometriosis experience. Endometriosis can be an extremely debilitating disease and it is not well understood. Many women suffer in silence because this disease is so unseen. One of my aims is to articulate this pain in a way that affirms the dignity of the suffering women and promotes further research into treatments.

I pledged a portion of the sale proceeds to be donated to Endometriosis research. Several images sold permitting me to donate $186 to Endometriosis research.


The opening night of “Period Piece”

"Period Piece" - 20 May to 6 June 2010

Exciting news!

My solo exhibition, “Period Piece” will be held in the Huw Davies Gallery, Manuka Circle, Griffith, ACT.

Period Piece is a statement of respect for women’s bodies, not a response to men’s fantasies. The subtle eroticism and sexuality are used to express what being a woman feels like, with a focus on what menstruation means and feels like in emotional and philosophically symbolic terms.

Because all clothing is a product of a particular culture and time in history, many of the women in “Period Piece” are naked. Nude bodies reduce the distracting influences and are therefore timeless. I use black and white to represent any woman regardless of ethnicity. These images express experiences common to all women.

In many cultures and in the past women have been taught to feel shame about menstruation. There are many rituals and exclusions that frame the menstruating woman as dirty, polluting and someone to avoid. My photographs challenge these prejudices and tabus. My images are confronting, dramatic and surprising, but they are also beautiful and designed to enhance women’s perception of themselves.

Secrecy, prejudice and lack of knowledge can have health implications for vulnerable women. It is difficult for some women to candidly discuss their menstrual problems even with doctors. This body of work helps to open that dialogue. To support women’s health I am donating 10% of sales towards endometriosis research.

I am thrilled that Dr Anne Sneddon, specialist from Canberra Endometriosis Centre will open this exhibition.

The exhibition features 14 original digital photographs printed on archival rag (Canson) in a limited edition of 25 signed prints.
“Period Piece” images are not shown on this website. Ten of the images have not been exhibited before.

You are invited to the opening at 6:00pm on Thursday 20th May.

New Endometriosos clinic in Canberra

Great news! The Canberra Times has a short note about a new Endometriosis Clinic opening in Canberra, Australia. This will improve the health and reduce suffering for many women. Women of all reproductive ages can have this debilitating and often painful condition. It can reduce fertility and certainly affects a woman's productivity. Now women can get treatment more easily in Canberra.

Story is written up in IBN news